Softball, No. 19 UNC Split Doubleheader
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – NC State (19-15 / 2-3 ACC) and No. 19 North Carolina (24-8 / 4-4 ACC) split the first two games of a three-game conference series on Saturday, March 27 at Anderson Stadium. The Wolfpack took the opener 3-2 before falling by the same score in the second contest.
Katie Mansilla went 2-for-3 at the plate while Linzy Rother drove in two runs in game one. Lindsay Campana (13-5) struck out nine and allowed just one earned run, as Amber Johnson (15-7) took the loss.
UNC picked up one unearned run in the bottom of the first. Campana struck out the first two batters before Ally Blake reached when Stephanie Call dropped a throw at first. Brittany McKinney then walked, and Blake scored from second when a Kelli Wheeler infield pop fly dropped between Mansilla and Alyssa Ishibashi in the middle infield.
The Pack plated three runs on three hits and a Tar Heel error to take control for good at 3-1 in the top of the fifth. Ishibashi led off with a walk, while both Mansilla and Landon Warren followed with singles. Rother then reached on an infield single with the bases loaded, scoring both Ishibashi and Mansilla.
Johnson then walked Claudia Cooper to load the bases again for Call, who sent a fielder’s choice to third. Haleigh Dickey fielded the ball cleanly, forcing Warren out at home, but when Ally Blake attempted to double-up Call at first, her throw sailed into right field and Presnell scored easily.
Kelli Wheeler clipped the Pack’s lead to 3-2 with an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth, but the Tar Heels failed to get anything else.
A three-run UNC first inning in game two would prove to be sufficient. Call (5-5) took the loss, while Danielle Spaulding (9-2) grabbed the win. Johnson picked up her first save of the season.
North Carolina got all its runs in the first with an RBI knock from Blake and a two-run single by Brittany Robinson.
One swing of the bat made it a 3-2 ballgame in the top of the fifth. Allbritten walked and Krystal Hawkins took her place, stealing second instantly. Bridget Desbois later crushed a Spaulding pitch just below the scoreboard in left field for a homer, giving the Pack its only two runs.
The Wolfpack made things interesting in the top of the seventh as its first two batters both reached safely, but were ultimately left stranded.
NC State and North Carolina will play the third and final game of the series tomorrow, Sunday, March 28, at 1 p.m.